About Us

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo by Ellie Watkins

About the MPO

The MPO was founded in 1993 by Kevin Ford, a gay man who had a vision of a gay and lesbian orchestra that would build community and fellowship through the performance of classical music.

Although Kevin succumbed to complications from HIV-AIDS in 1995, the organization he created has continued to grow and diversify. The MPO includes players from a wide variety of backgrounds and orientations who share a commitment to inclusivity, nondiscrimination, and to the performance of works by underrepresented composers.

Our Mission

The Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra seeks to provide diverse arts entertainment of the highest quality, resulting in increased visibility for the musical talents of the GLBTQA community.

Our Vision

The vision of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra is to provide its diverse membership with opportunities to serve our local community through:

  1. Musical performances of the highest quality which feature works by underrepresented composers such as GLBTQA artists, women, and people of color.
  2. Informing and educating our audience about the relevance of the music we perform.
  3. Affirming and showcasing the talents and capabilities within the GLBTQA community.
  4. Supporting the efforts of other GLBTQA organizations.
  5. Creating healthy social opportunities for people to be themselves safely, openly and honestly.

What is GLBTQA?

“GLBTQA” stands for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Ally. The initialism is also commonly seen as “LGBTQA.” Our mission is to promote these diverse communities in the classical orchestral music environment.